Travelers of all ages and interests can find something to do in this tropical haven. Abundant sunshine year-round and clear waters make activities on the beach an obvious choice, but there are additional natural and historic sights to explore.
The uncommon visibility in these waters is ideal for snorkeling and diving; visitors looking to be on (or in) the aqua seas also can choose parasailing, windsurfing, fishing, catamaran cruising or swimming with dolphins. Outdoor adventurers can kayak through mangrove forests in Lucayan National Park, ride horses in the surf or explore back roads in an ATV.
To learn more about the islands’ pirate history, head to the interactive Pirates of Nassau museum. You’ll have a chance to board Revenge, a reproduction of a pirate ship, and get a taste for life as a buccaneer. Or check out the view from Blackbeard’s Tower, the remains of a watchtower said to be a former hideout for the infamous pirate. Another choice for heritage enthusiasts is to tour the British colonial architecture.
How does a day at a private island sound? Many cruise lines have their own patch of paradise reserved exclusively for the use of passengers. Guests can snorkel in the coral reef surrounding Princess Cruises’ Princess Cays, view a sunken replica of a pirate ship at Royal Caribbean’s CocoCay, hang out with Mickey and Minnie on Disney’s Castaway Cay or try a variety of water sports on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Great Stirrup Cay. Holland America Line and Carnival Cruise Lines share their retreat, Half Moon Cay, which is located on a bird sanctuary.
If you’re looking for something to remember your trip by (or shopping for friends and family not lucky enough to escape to the Bahamas with you), there are tempting choices for souvenirs. Nassau and Freeport are duty-free havens and popular for perfumes, jewelry, crystal, linens and cameras. Straw markets sell local crafts and items woven from dried palm fronds, like hats, purses and baskets.